Seattle’s Space Needle workers demand raise and fair union contract

Space Needle workers, union members, and labor activists gathered on the steps of the Space Needle for a rally demanding a fair union contract and protesting current low wages. Seattle city council members Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant joined the demonstration and spoke about the need for the symbol of Seattle to treat their workers well and provide a living wage. The National Labor Relations Board has found the Space Needle guilty of 65 labor violations and instead of rectifying the situation, the Space Needle instead chose to fight each separate charge in court, further delaying negotiations and adding to the already 1000 plus days the workers have not received a raise. After the rally, Space Needle workers marched to the head office, located four blocks away, and demanded to be seen by the CEO but were once again blocked by the Director of PR, Dave Mandapat.

From the Unite Here Local 8 Press release…

SEATTLE – Space Needle workers and labor and community supporters rallied Wednesday to again send the message to Space Needle management that workers deserve a raise.

Wednesday’s rally at the base of the Space Needle featured statements by workers at the Symbol of Seattle who are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living in the city.

“I sat my parents down and we went over all the bills that we are responsible for monthly. Just looking at the rent alone, my whole paycheck was used up” said valet cashier Veronica Chernichenko, who stood surrounded by her coworkers next to a banner reading “1,000+ days without a raise.”

The Space Needle has refused to give the cooks, elevator operators, greeters, and other workers a raise for over 1,000 days, instead offering their employees an insulting webinar on how to “live on less.”

“It’s heartbreaking to know that the struggles I’m facing wouldn’t be such a struggle if we got the raises we deserve,” said Chernichenko. “Without the dedicated staff it has, the Space Needle would not be the icon that it is today.”


Space Needle workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 8, have been operating under an expired contract for nearly three years.

Ingersoll Gender Center founder Marsha Botzer MC’d the event, which also featured words of support from Seattle City Council members Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant.

Councilmember Sawant called the behavior of the Seattle landmark “disgraceful.”

Since the union contract expired, Space Needle management has committed a number of violations of federal labor law, including coercing and intimidating union workers. A January ruling by the NLRB would punish the Space Needle for its attempted union-busting and bring two workers back to work with significant back pay. However, the Space Needle has chosen to appeal the ruling, further delaying justice for workers.

“I encourage the Space Needle to drop its appeal of the NLRB ruling and to restore my and your employees’ pride, faith and trust in the Space Needle Corporation,” said Councilmember Licata.

Following the rally, which drew over 75 workers and labor and community supporters, workers marched to Space Needle corporate headquarters on 6th Avenue. There, they delivered a petition with the signatures of a majority of Space Needle workers and over 500 supporters calling on the company to drop its legal appeal of the NLRB decision and to give workers a raise.

This is the second time that a majority of workers have expressed their need for a raise directly to Space Needle management, and the second time that the company has failed to meaningfully address workers’ concerns.

Management did recently announced that they would be hiring 200 temporary summer employees, many at a higher wage rate than most current union employees. The first summer hiring fair was also scheduled to take place on March 18.


UNITE HERE Local 8, the hospitality union of the Pacific Northwest, represents nearly 5,000 workers in hospitality and foodservice throughout Washington and Oregon, including SkyCity restaurant employees, banquet servers, elevator operators, greeters, and other workers at the Space Needle. For more information, please visit our website at:

Abby Lawlor


2800 First Ave. Ste. 3

Seattle, WA 98121

(206) 963-6458

Seattle University students and faculty join national walk out for better treatment of adjunct professors

Hundreds of Seattle University students and faculty walked out of class to join Seattle city council members Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant in a picket on the grounds of Seattle University. Protestors demanded an end to union busting, as adjunct faculty are currently unable to unionize, although a vote by the adjunct professors shows interest. Kshama Sawant, who worked for both Seattle Central College and Seattle University as adjunct faculty at the same time, said “I was paid significantly more at Seattle Central, because I had a union that had negotiated a better contract”. Seattle University joined with other universities and colleges around the country for a national day of action in support of adjunct and non tenured teachers.

From the Facebook event page…

On February 25 at noon many of our professors, both adjunct and tenured, will be going walking off the job. They are striking because Seattle University administration has been fighting adjunct unionization on the grounds that they deserve religious exemption from labor law. The NLRB ruled that religious institutions are not exempt but SU has not shown signs of budging. Adjuncts face inadequate working conditions, unfair wage compensation and have no job stability.

Your adjunct faculty are asking for your support in their strike. Please consider attending the walkout in solidarity with our professors as well as faculty nationwide who will also be walking out.

Meet at the flagpole for a teach-in by professors. We will then move to 12th Ave and Columbia for a picket to draw public attention to the plight of SU adjuncts.

Please also sign our student letter committing to support of the SU unionization efforts:”

For more information on the National Adjunct Walkout Day…

Demonstrators hold protest against oil trains at Seattle’s King Street Station

Seattle activists brought their demonstration to the King Street Station to protest oil trains traveling under Seattle’s streets, no more than 40 feet from where the protestors were standing. The trains carrying oil are similar to those that have exploded in recent rail accidents. Seattle city council member, Mike O’Brien, spoke to the demonstrators regarding his stance against oil trains and fossil fuel use. A representative for city council member Kshama Sawant also read a statement in support of the continued activism concerning oil by rail and it’s path under the core of downtown Seattle.

A scan of a flyer handed out at the demonstration…


From the Facebook event page…

“With the latest string of oil train derailments, fires, explosions and spills across North America in the last week involving the newer and ‘safer” tank car models, it becomes ever more clear that there are no “safe” oil trains and that we can no longer accept any oil trains passing through and under Seattle and endangering our families, communities, lands, and waters.

1 to 3 of these dangerous oil trains travel through the 100 year old mile-long rail tunnel right under downtown Seattle every day.

Join us in calling City, County, State, and Federal officials to immediately stop these bomb trains, and to deny and revoke the proposed and existing permits for rail loops at the 4 refineries north of Seattle to which these dangerous bomb trains travel.

We will meet at 5:30 PM across the street from King Street Station on 4th Avenue and S. Jackson St, from where you can see the southern entrance to the rail tunnel.

The best way to get there is by hopping on any bus that goes to downtown Seattle or on the light rail.

If you feel inspired to bring a home made sign, do so. And there will also be plenty of LED lit letter panels and oil train props to help hold.

We look forward to seeing you all there to help send our message loud and clear.
Dress warm!”

Advocates for the homeless and housing activists hold rally at Burien city council meeting


As 60-70 demonstrators gathered in a parking lot, housing activists from Seattle Against Foreclosure and Eviction (SAFE), advocates for the homeless, and other social justice activists held a rally, decrying an ordinance passed by the Burien city council.  Activists consider the ordinance an attack on the homeless population of Burien while business owners suggest this will reduce crime in the area.

Burien Ordinance 606


From the event Facebook page…

Demand Repeal of City of Burien’s Ordinance 606/621 Banning Homeless People!!!

6:15pm Mon 02/23/15 Rally and March to Burien City Hall to Demand Repeal of City of Burien’s Ordinance 606/621

A coalition of Homeless People and Housing and Social Justice Organizations Demands that the Burien City Council Repeal this unconstitutional law, which jeopardizes Civil Rights.

We are organizing in resistance to and speaking out against this law to the Burien City Council because Ordinance 606/621 criminalizes homelessness.

In August, 2014 the Burien City Council passed Ordinance 606/621, which bans homeless people from public spaces in Burien for odd social offenses including body odor, “boisterous” behavior and tooth brushing in public restrooms. This law violates the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Declaration of Universal Human Rights. It was adopted for the sole purpose of dehumanizing and criminalizing homeless people who have nowhere else to go. This law targets the most vulnerable members of our society, homeless people, who have human rights just like everyone in Burien. Homeless people should not be outlawed, profiled, harassed and banned out of their own community during the current crisis of homelessness in the Seattle metro area. The City of Burien needs to deal with the issue of homelessness in a compassionate and responsible way.

Monday, February 23rd

6:15 pm Homeless Banned in Burien March & Rally Meet at Burien Burger King parking lot near the Burien Transit Center 14893 4th Ave SW Burien, WA 98166 (Corner of SW 148th St & 4th Ave SW)

6:40 pm March to Burien City Hall Council Chambers, 400 SW 152nd St Burien, WA 98166

7:00 pm Rally and speak out to the Burien City Council against criminalization and profiling of homeless people through selective, targeted harassment, and enforcement based on perceived behavior and hygiene.

Participants and supporters of this action include:

Homeless Banned in Burien 606/621

SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction)

SUDA (Students United for Direct Action)

Occupy CEHKC



Transit Riders Union

WHACC (Washington Homeless Anti-Criminalization Campaign)

ACLU of Washington

ITFH (Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness)

SKCCH (Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness)

Facing Homelessness

Tenants Union of Idle No More Washington

Seattle Displacement Coalition

Seattle Solidarity Network

Kshama Sawant – Seattle City Council

WLIHA (Washington Low Income Housing Alliance)

For more information
SAFE: (206) 203-2125“

Seattle marches in protest of police brutality and murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes by Pasco, Washington police.

Seattle’s response to the police killings in Pasco, Washington brought a crowd of 65-75 protestors to Westlake Park to both honor the life of Antonio Zambrano Montes and demonstrate against police brutality. The activists marched in the streets and held a die in at the corner of 4th and Pine as they were watched carefully by more than 30 police on bicycles and motorcycles.

From the Facebook event page…

(LA PROTESTA OCURRIRÁ en el Downtown Seattle Wa)
#DONTSHOOT ON, FEBRUARY 10th 2015–Pasco wa police failed to follow proper procedures and MURDERED/asesinado Antonio Zambrano-Montes — Throwing a rock/Dirt clods at somebody’s car does not equal a death sentence by cop-YOU,ALSO DONT DESERVE TO BE SHOT DEAD FOR SURRENDERING Seattle is gonna take it to the streets! people must gather and make a very visible and loud demonstration and do what it takes to get justice for Antonio Zambrano-Montes and other victims of police brutality Ect ! Bring signs and banners, bring cardboard and markers so other people can make signs. Bring your whistles to blow the whistle on police brutality. Bring your outrage, bring your determination for justice, bring your friends! #DONTSHOOT #BrownLivesMatter #seattle

WE ask that you bring a candle and A lighter to the protest for a candle light vigil/rally for Antonio Zambrano-Montes. and Then anti police brutality march after


English and Spanish friendly protest / Protesta amistosa inglesa y española



WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND BE UNITED AS ONE AGAINST injustice ,police brutality and get JUSTICE FOR Antonio Zambrano-Montes

Media relations Contact US via text- 206-334-6007 OR Email us at

(SPANISH PRESS/español presione
por favor tenga a inglés a español traductor

presione relaciones contacto us via text– 206-334-6007 or email us at”

Hundreds gather in Seattle for a candlelight vigil in memory of three Muslim students killed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Hundreds gathered at Westlake Park in Seattle to memorialize three Muslim college students from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were  shot to death in their home on February 10th, 2015. Police have arrested and charged a neighbor of the young college students and in their initial analysis, have said that the incident was the result of an ongoing parking dispute between the neighbors. However, the family of the victims strongly refute that claim. The circumstances surrounding this incident and previous threats by the neighbor, combined with the anti-Muslim sentiment expressed in his social media posts, may warrant a federal hate crime investigation.

From the Facebook event page:

“Salaam everyone,

I am sure we are all in shock of the crime that happened in Chapel Hill, NC. The Muslim community in the US and world wide in general is subjected to a campaign of bigotry and hate, and this is our chance to bring attention to this case. Please be aware that this is a peaceful vigil. You represent the community, so always be respectful to others, and leave the location in a condition better than in which you found it. Anyone and everyone willing to support the cause is welcome.

I just wanted to announce some important messages by the organizers of this vigil:
Our vigil is a tribute to their legacy and life which was deeply, influenced by their American values and strong believe as Muslims. We want to make this event more about celebrating their life

1. The official dress code is white as it symbolize peace and tranquility.
2. If you can bring posters and images of them to commemorate their legacy. We will have some there but extras are always good.
3. Bring white and red roses
4. We encourage people to bring candles with them.
5. The theme of the event them which is paying tribute to their lives and contribution to the community.
6. There will be a Maghrib prayer at 5:30. We also going to have Qur’an recitation and some speakers that will be giving short speeches.
7. We also asking for some volunteers to help us keep everyone safe. You can message me if you like to volunteer
8. Police will be present to help with security

The event will start at 5 pm (be sure to leave time for parking) and end at 7:30pm. This will be held at Seattle’s Westlake center. see you out there!”

Gov. Jay Inslee’s Letter

Gov. Jay Inslee Message re. Chapel Hill Vigil 2152015

William Wingate leads hundreds on golf club march through Capitol Hill in Seattle

Hundreds marched in the streets of Capitol Hill in Seattle in support of William Wingate, the 70 year old Air Force Veteran who walks with a golf club as a cane. Mr. Wingate, who is black, was arrested by SPD officer Whitlatch, who is not, for allegedly swinging his golf club at her vehicle as she drove past. Dash cam evidence proved otherwise and officer Whitlatch has been put on paid, administrative leave, as Mr. Wingate sues the Seattle Police Department for arresting him without cause.

From the Facebook event page:


UPDATE: Mr. William Wingate will be in attendance (PASS THE WORD)

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY. Also if you can assist with Marketing, Media Relations, Photography/Videography, Signs/Banners, Clubs, Set Up/Take Down, please contact Chad at:


“Walking While Black”
Always Dangerous Until Proven Otherwise

On Saturday, February 7th at 2:00p.m., you are invited to bring your Woods, Irons, Wedges and Putters and join us at Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse, 1635 11th Avenue, for “Walking While Black” Always Dangerous Until Proven Otherwise

WE WALK to finish the interrupted walk of a 69 year old Black Veteran/Civil Servant who on July 9, 2014, grabbed his putter and set out on a brilliant summer day. A day that would forever change both he and this city we call home.

WE WALK because when it comes to police misconduct and black men, there are no local issues, just one long and painful history of bad cops who think it’s okay to dole out harsh and sometimes even deadly punishments to black men they deem to have stepped out of line.

WE WALK because we are tired of our keys, wallets, cellphones and candy bars being seen as guns.

WE WALK because the youthful indiscretion period for young black males, continues to plummet, now hovering somewhere around age twelve.

WE WALK because we are tired of government restricting and monitoring the movement of Black Folks: Be it the Middle Passage, Slavery, Jim Crow, Segregation, Intimidation, Montgomery, Selma or Seattle.

WE WALK because blackness and criminal behavior are so merged in the American mind, that regardless of who you are, where you came from, or what you’ve accomplished, in the eyes of many, being black and male is sufficient probable cause.


Copyright © 2012, 2015, Chad Goller-Sojourner

PLEASE READ: While we understand and appreciate the intersection of various social justice movements, we also believe there are times to direct our focus on a specific issue. This is one of those times. While the walk is open to all—people of color as well as allies—we request that all participants keep their focus on this specific issue: law enforcement’s racism against black males. In this case, we feel that highlighting other issues of injustice, even those involving law enforcement, will serve only to dilute our message. Thank you for your support and respect.”

For more information on the incident…

From the Stranger

From the Capitol Hill Blog